Last week was a delirious week for the entire scientific community following the discovery of a subatomic particle with mass of around 125 GeV similar to the theoretical Higgs boson. Though their properties are fairly alike, scientists are yet to confirm the particle as a hundred percent Higgs boson, and yet CERN has announced that it has almost struck oil and is a few inches away from what could become the most famous eureka of our age. We know that the Higgs boson is the last piece in the standard model that will explain the interactions between all known particles, something which will have a huge impact not only in the subatomic but also in the macrocosmic level. The "theory of everything" sprouting from this long-nurtured crop may finally explain the question of how do we happen to get here.
Growing up I have always been fascinated by science's relevance to the question of existence and its origin. Somehow we used to understand existence as something more religious and philosophical than scientific. Our generation itself has been reared in a culture which busies itself on spiritual questions which answers do not fit in to the logical patterns of our understanding. This, despite the fact that for over two hundred years the bridging of the empirical and the rational thought have done so well to dispel the old myths and misconceptions of people about nature.
That is why institutionalized religion is so often threatened by scientific advances because the foundations of much of their canons and dogmas are products of premature conceptions and the church is just too great a matter for a small fire to kindle. In the past, what philosophy could not explain was left to religion, and afterwards when chemistry and the other experimental sciences came into being philosophy changed its ally as thinkers suddenly realized that religion itself was an irrelevant response to the complex inquiries of the times. The rise of empiricists such as Hume, Locke, Berkeley and the others brought out a D-Day on the beaches of conformity and razed the prevailing ideas on miracles and inverted cause and effect logic down to the ground.
And today is a very good time to commemorate and celebrate empirical knowledge. It is again time for philosophy and experimental science to sit together and have a cup of coffee, and for institutionalized religion to rethink as it has so often done so in the past.